One Cannot Make Another Happy

Music: Goldberg Variations: Variation 21.
By Johann Sebastian Bach.
Performed by Kimiko Ishizaka at the Free Music Archive
under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication license.

Subscribe to this site on YouTube

Subscribe to get a poem sent to you each day by email

Read a dramatization of the Mueller Report

Hear me read
the poem as
an MP3 file.

Watch me read
the poem as
a YouTube video.

Alpha List


About This

Poems for

Copyright by
Nicholas Gordon

One cannot make another happy,
Whatever one might do or say,
For happiness remains a choice
Not even love can hope to sway.

The sacrifice of time and strength
And preference and goods may be
Of help, of course, but cannot calm
The winds that roil a restless sea.

Everything one does, like dust,
Transforms the light in which all live.
But happiness is not a gift
It is within one's power to give.

One can only love, and be
A witness to the life that each
At last must live alone, for good
Or ill beyond a lover's reach.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.

[about this site] [poems for free] [poem of the day]
[site policy] [about me] [links]